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Certificate in Professional Patient Advocacy

Earn Your Certificate in Patient Advocacy!

A Certificate in Patient Advocacy Will Help You...

  • Decide if Independent practice is the right move for you
  • Validate your expertise
  • Improve outcomes for those who contact your services
  • Drive your business
  • Ensure patients and their families have a voice in their care
  • Improve the patient experience
  • Assist clients in relieving their fears, uncertainties and challenges
  • Ensure appropriate use of healthcare resources
  • Reduce medical risks and costs
  • Demonstrate your qualifications, education, and skill level to other practitioners
  • Learn new avenues to expand your business
  • Hone your business skill
Anne LlewellynTrainer:
Anne Llewellyn, RN-BC, MS, BHSA, CCM, CRRN Editor-in Chief Dorland Health & PPAI

The Professional Patient Advocate Certificate Training Program is an advanced program aimed at introducing professionals and those who have life experience to emerging practice of independent practice of patient advocacy. Focusing on the concepts of patient advocacy to ensure each person has a right to have a voice in their health and healthcare, the program strives to demonstrate the important role independent advocates have in helping consumers navigate the complex and fragmented health care system.


The Certificate Program is an advanced course that is open to all professionals with a baseline level of healthcare experience.


Additionally, the Certificate Program serves as a point of entry for professionals who want to transition into independent practice by providing a course of study that builds on an existing body of knowledge.



The field of Patient Advocacy is emerging due to four predominant trends in the healthcare industry:

  • Consumers want assistance in navigating the healthcare system so they can be active participants in their own health, yet they are not educated to understand the how to do this.

  • The healthcare industry is complex, fragmented and not patient- or family-centered. That makes it difficult for consumers to ensure they’re getting the care they want to meet their goals. Having an advocate empowers patients to understand how they can have a voice to ensure the plan of care meets their goals. In additions, advocates can assist consumers understanding billing and insurance issues that can cause financial hardship if not addressed.

  • Due to escalating healthcare costs, the risk has shifted from the payer to the employer to the consumer. As a result, consumers are required to pay more of their healthcare costs. This makes it critical that consumers become savvy shoppers to ensure that they get what they need, when they need it, and in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

  • Trust in healthcare has eroded to the point that consumers are looking for trusted professionals for assistance in navigating the complicated healthcare landscape.

To date, there is no universal training program, license or certification that unites the practitioners of patient advocacy. As a result, training and development is needed for professionals currently in the practice and for those interested in entering the field. The Professional Patient Advocate Certificate Program exists to fill this void, providing a platform that explains the role of advocates working with consumers and helping consumers understand how an advocate can assist them in meeting their healthcare needs.  


The Goals of the Certificate Training Program are to:

  • Provide an advanced course on the emerging role of patient advocacy.

  • Provide structure to the practice for professionals who want to add this component to their current healthcare practice.

  • Share insights and best practices that advocates can use to assist consumers as they navigate the complex healthcare system.

As part of the training program, professionals gain information and resources that enable them to assist consumers, employers and other stakeholders in understanding the diverse services advocates can provide, either as independent professionals or as part of a larger team.

The Professional Patient Advocate Certificate Program exists so that consumers can benefit from safe, quality, evidence-based care at the right time and in the most appropriate setting.

Upon completion of the training program participants will receive:

  • A Certificate as a Professional Patient Advocate
  • A Professional Patient Advocate Institute logo for use in your letterhead and other business materials
  • A Lapel pin for professional identification

Guiding the Professional Patient Advocate Institute Certificate Training Program is a growing body of advocates who have completed the Certificate Program. They provide input into what advocates will need in terms of ongoing education and professional tools and resources.

Certificate Training Program Curriculum

The Certificate Program, which is open to all healthcare professionals, is now available as an online E-learning program that allows you to access the training materials on demand at a time and location that suits your needs. PPAI will also be hosting live and online training events throughout the year (dates TBA). The Training Program consists of 11 individual sessions that explore the following:

Session One: Overview of the Certificate Training Program and the History of Patient Advocacy
This session provides an overview of the Professional Patient Advocate Certificate Program and offers a look into the rich history of patient advocacy. You will be able to utilize this information as you explore the practice of patient advocacy as a business opportunity for those who want to move into independent practice by gaining insights into the practice and the value that it brings to consumers and other stakeholders. 

Session Two: Roles and Settings
In this session, you will gain insights into the diverse roles and various settings where patient’s advocates are being utilized to assist consumers navigate the complex healthcare landscape.  As the practice emerges, patient advocates will exist throughout the continuum of care to meet the diverse needs of consumers regardless of their entry point into the healthcare system. This session also reviews the tools advocates can use when working with clients. 

Additional Learning: "The Patient Advocate's Voice: Real Life Stories and Insights". Four patient advocates share how their roles made a difference in the lives of their patients. Take time to read these vignettes and put your learning into action.

Session Three: Trends and Opportunities for Patient Advocacy
Session three takes a deep dive into the trends and opportunities that are available to patient advocates. As the healthcare system transitions to a patient- and family-centered system (where the individual is an active participant in his or her own healthcare), the need for patient advocates will continue to grow as employers, consumers and other stakeholders attempt to navigate the complex and fragmented healthcare system.

Additional Learning: "Patient Advocacy Strategies for Managing the Senior Population" provides insights advocates can use when considering working with the senior population and their families.

Session Four: Core Competencies and Core Components to be an Effective Patient Advocate
This session provides an overview of the core competencies and core components that those taking on the role of an independent patient advocate should have to be effective. The session outlines what consumers, employers and other stakeholders can expect when hiring a professional patient advocate. 

Additional Learning:The audio podcast "The Pillars of Patient Advocacy” explains the core competencies that encompass the various roles of today’s patient advocate.

Session Five: Consumer Directed Healthcare
In this session we shift the focus and look at the consumer’s role in the healthcare system and how the advocate can educate and empower them to ensure they have a voice in their care and ensure that their plan of care meets their goals. We will look at ways advocates can meet the needs of consumers and the tools that are being implemented to ensure consumer engagement and active participation in their health and healthcare. 

Additional Learning: "Motivational Interviewing: An Emerging Trend in Medical Management" is a special report that provides an overview of the behavior-enhancing technique known as motivational interviewing, which is proliferating in healthcare settings across the nation. From physician practices and nursing settings to case management, disease management and health coaching settings – any patient-facing discipline – this proven paradigm helps foster better outcomes, largely through effective communication strategies.

Session Six: Reimbursement Systems
Session six reviews various types of reimbursement systems that provide consumers with access to healthcare resources. The session shares insights into the major systems and the unique processes that are specific to each system so that advocates have a working knowledge and understand that each has its own requirements to ensure coverage. 

Additional Learning: "Secure Successful Healthcare Reimbursement" is a special report that provides important information for better understanding the current reimbursement systems. It includes information on the history of utilization management and the varied pieces that patient advocates need to understand: benefits; billing and coding systems; a breakdown of the approaching ICD-10 transition; an overview of the diverse players in the healthcare team; and a list of 10 resources that will provide additional education and know-how.

Session Seven: Business Strategies for the Independent Patient Advocate
In this session we will look at what the strategies, challenges and opportunities patient advocates should consider when making the decision to move into the role of an independent advocate.

Session Eight: Marketing Your Business
Session Eight looks at the most challenges aspects advocates encounter when building their independent practice. The session will provide tips and ideas that will spur your creativity so that you can share your expertise and ability to effect change.

Additional Learning: Read The Marketing Report: Business Growth Strategies: Resources, Tools and Case Studies. This report delivers current information that advocates can use as they launch or develop their business.

Session Nine: Legislation, Legal and Risk Management Issues Impacting Patient Advocates
In Session Nine, we will look at major legislation, legal  and risk management issues, advocates should be aware as they enter into private practice so they are informed and prepared, protected as they meet the diverse needs of their clients.

Session Ten: Direct Patient Advocacy Services
In this session we look at direct patient advocacy services and discuss the various aspects advocates can use to understand how to value their services when starting and growing their business.   

Additional Learning: Read the Professional patient Advocate Salary and Trends Report. This Report provides the most comprehensive information on salary and trends impacting the practice of patient advocacy. The report has information that you can use to educate consumers and other stakeholders on your role and function in the changing world of healthcare.

Session Eleven: Ethical Issues Impacting Patient Advocacy
Session eleven looks at the ethical issues and challenges facing advocates as the result of escalating costs, decreasing resources and increased consumer demands. The session will provide information advocates can use to inform, educate and empower consumers to have an active role in their health.

Monthly Teleconference

Each month, PPAI hosts a teleconference exclusively for students and professionals who have achieved a certificate. You’ll have the opportunity to network and ask questions as we guide you toward opportunities in the area of professional patient advocacy.

Sign up for the Patient Advocate Report

Post-Test and Program Evaluation:

Following each session, there is a 10 question post-test that allows you to gauge what you learned in each session and share information on additional topics you would like us to cover. As the industry continues to change, continuous learning is essential and advocates will need to stay up to date in order to provide the best service to their clients and patients. Eleven contact hours will be provided for completion of the course for the following disciplines: Nurses, Certified Case Managers, Disability Management Specialists, Social Workers, Psychologists, and Behavioral Health Counselors. Other disciplines will be considered on an individual basis.

Important Information for Qualifying:

The training coursework is taught at an advanced level, which requires a basic understanding of the healthcare system and medical management. The Certificate Program is open to all licensed healthcare professionals as well as those who possess a national healthcare education in the health or human service disciplines that allows professionals to provide an independent assessment according to their scope of practice.

Those with a baccalaureate, graduate degree or PhD in social work (or another health or human services field that promotes the physical, psychological and vocational well-being of those being served) are also encouraged to consider the training program. Financial professionals and/or professional coders are eligible to participate as they play an important role in collaborating with patient advocates, as well as assisting patients and families in addressing financial/billing challenges.




Tuition for the Certificate in Professional Patient Advocacy program costs $895 per student. Enroll today!

For questions about the program, please contact or call 1-855-225-5341.


Renewing Your Certificate:

Your certification is valid for two years. The valid-through date is printed on your certificate and can also be found under the "certifications” section of your profile.

To renew your Certificate, you are required to retake the exam through the Professional Patient Advocate Institute online learning management portal. The current price to retake the exam is $175.
Professionals choose to retake the certificate training program every other year due to the dynamic changes happening in healthcare.  Sign up here to renew your certificate.

On-site Workshops:

On-site workshops can be scheduled on a one-to-one basis. To discuss having an on-site workshop at your organization, please contact:

Carol Brault, Vice President
Anne Llewellyn, Editor in Chief,

Contact Us:

For questions about our program, please contact or 1-855-225-5341.

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